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What is 3D Printing?

Chances are you have heard about 3D printing and is wondering what the hype is all about. Well, much of what you heard is true but to know exactly what 3D printing is, below are some fast facts.

Simply put, 3D printing is a way of producing a solid physical object from a digital 3D prototype. The “printing” in the term refers to the similarity of the assembly process to that of printing ink on paper. Many 3D printers in use have base materials that are laid down in layers to subsequently complete the finished product. As an additive process, 3D printing starts from a bottom layer with subsequent printed layers added on top of it until the task is completed.

You may not believe it but 3D printing has been used in industrial application for quite some time now. The surge in its popularity can be traced to the accessibility of its present software and the cheaper and smaller hardware it uses. The price tags of 3D printers have never been more reasonable, and the variety of 3D modeling programs have never been greater. The printer is fashionable in the DIY community where people like making customized products and parts.

Ordinary people may not see much use yet for a 3D printer but that is changing day by day. There are efforts to come up with a 3D printer and copier that can replicate physical items and print them easily for anyone to do. Before long, 3D printing technology will be accessible to anyone everywhere just like computers now.

You can buy your own chocolate printer that can 3D print anything you want in chocolate. There is also a printer that can 3D print yourself as an action figure. Medical doctors and hospitals are venturing into 3D printed prosthetics. DIYers have tried printing their own smartphone case, broken appliance parts, or even mounts for their webcams fashioned from their own specifications. 3D printing gives anyone the capability to print their own objects, the parts of bigger items, or even complex and ambulatory gizmos.

If you want to do 3D printing in all seriousness, your best option is to purchase your own printer. It remains costly but the price tag has gone down a great deal from the time it was introduced. If the price is out of your reach, you may want to join your local hackerspace who will let you use it for a fee. There might be a chance also that your local library, community college, or vocational school owns a 3D printer you can avail of.
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